Why hello, Columbus Blue Jackets. Come on in, have a seat.
Is that comfortable? Good. I'm glad. If anything, us Midwesterners are good hosts. You want a cold drink? How about some tea? At least let me get you some water. Here, put your foot up. A snack, maybe? Good. Comfy? Now give us two points.
The Blues' home page this week has had a quote from Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "This is a tough building for the opposition to play in. Once the crowd gets into it, it lifts them up for sure." The Blues have more wins and points on home ice than any team in the league. That needs to continue tonight with the visiting Jackets. Because tonight is about payback for the team's last embarrassing loss.
Back on Valentine's day (nearly a month ago), the Blues were flying high going into Columbus. They had won four games in a row with the last being a 3-0 throttling of the San Jose Sharks. Then the plane landed in Columbus and the Blues let their guard down and let the Jackets control the flow of the game and the scoring chances. And while the Blues almost tied the game 2-2 in the waning seconds on a punched in puck by David Perron's fist, the Blues deserved to lose that game.
Not tonight. From the first faceoff, the Blues should remind this team how horrible it is. A win tonight for St. Louis doubles the Jackets' total of 22 on the season. There are 42 points separating these teams in the standings. This should not be competitive. With the Rangers losing last night, the Blues could open up a slight lead in the overall standings. Plus Detroit starts the night just two points back for the division as well as overall. Getting to first was nice, staying there is the accomplishment.
And remember, any shenanigans tonight can get some retribution tomorrow in Columbus. So there might be some scene setting this evening. I think Brian Elliott gets the start tonight with Jaroslav Halak in net for Sunday. I saw somewhere that Steve Mason is out for the weekend series. So chalk goaltending up to St. Louis' advantage (probably would have anyway with a healthy Mason).
The Blues could score a lot tonight. If they don't there will be grumbling. Also, Rick Nash is a whiny little bitch.
This is your game day thread. Comment like you want to get traded out of Columbus.